Step 2: Submit Through NEA-GO

Fill out and submit to NEA-GO the NEA Grant Application Form and Upload Items 

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

  1. Submit your materials to NEA-GO prior to the deadline to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems that you might encounter. You take a significant risk by waiting until the day of the deadline to submit.

    • Most problems can be solved by changing your browser. If that doesn't work, change devices.
    • NEA staff will not be available to help you after 5:30 p.m., Eastern Time, on the day of the deadline.
  2. Don't forget to hit the "Submit" button when you are ready to submit your application.

  3. NEA-GO closes at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on the day of the deadline. Be sure you have finished uploading your materials and hit the "Submit" button prior to that time.

  4. Some special characters, such as ampersands, quotation marks, and apostrophes, take up more character counts than others in webforms, including the Grant Application Form. This is because certain characters are translated into HTML code which takes up more than one character space. If you notice a higher than expected character count when you enter information directly into the Grant Application Form or copy and paste from your word processing program, here are a few tips:

    • Transfer your text into a text-only utility like Notepad before pasting it into the Grant Application Form. This will delete hidden HTML code to ensure the proper capture of your text. However, any formatting you had will be deleted.

    • Use a solution other than special characters. For example, instead of using quotation marks for titles of works, put them in italics and that won't affect character count.

    • Use only one space after the end of sentences. Single spaces after punctuation marks (periods, commas, colons, etc.) only reduce the character counter by one character. If you enter two spaces after a period, HTML coding adds extra spaces.

    Also, save character space by limiting the use of tabs.

You will use the NEA GrantsOnline™ System (NEA-GO), which is being administered for the NEA by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). This will proceed as follows:

  1. You will complete the Grants.gov SF-424 process by the deadline of record as detailed in Step 1 above.

  2. Log in to Grants.gov. On the left of the screen under Applicant Actions, click on Check My Application Status. Click the Search button, and all of your submitted applications will appear. In the column for Agency Tracking # and Notes, click on the number. There you will see information about how to access NEA-GO. There will be a notes box with a link to NEA-GO and information about when it will be open. Your User Name for NEA-GO will be your Grants.gov Tracking Number and your Agency Tracking #/NEA Application Number will be your password. You can begin accessing this information on Grants.gov 1-2 business days after you submit your SF-424, but no earlier than 10 days before the application deadline.

  3. NEA-GO will be open for you to submit application material and work samples beginning on May 22, 2014. You will have until 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on June 5, 2014, to upload, preview/check, and submit your application material and work samples electronically.

  4. The NEA-GO system is optimized for use with the following web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. Internet Explorer will also work, but you must have at least version IE 8.

For specific help on how to complete your application, please review the instructions in these guidelines including the Frequently Asked Questions, or contact the Challenge America Fast-Track staff at fasttrack@arts.gov.

Grant Application Form

The Grant Application Form and the information that it collects can be seen here. You will not have access to the Grant Application Form until NEA-GO opens for you to submit your application material on May 22.

You will submit a substantial part of your application through the Grant Application Form, including:

  • Answers to narrative questions about your organization and project.
  • Financial information about your organization and project.
  • Bios of key individuals.

You should prepare your responses and material well in advance of the deadline and have them fully ready to upload once NEA-GO opens for you. The version of the form that you can link to now will let you know what is required and any specifications about your material (e.g., character limits for narrative responses).

See the instructions below for the following items (instructions for narrative and financial information are provided on the form itself).

Part 1. Organizational Information

Organization Budget

Provide the requested information for your organization for the most recently completed fiscal year, the previous fiscal year, and two years prior. If you are a parent organization, provide this information for the independent component on whose behalf you are applying (e.g., for a university project, provide the information for the independent component, not the entire university). For independent components, you may use the space to discuss the fiscal health of your organization to explain the relationship that the independent component has with the larger entity (e.g., "museum guards and utilities paid for by university"). If your organization is a smaller entity that exists within a larger organization (such as literary organization housed at a college or university), submit information for the smaller entity and follow the instructions for parent organizations and independent components.

This is intended to show your organization's fiscal activity as it relates to operations. Do not include activity related to a capital campaign (such as raising money for a new facility, an endowment fund, or a cash reserve fund). The Arts Endowment may request additional information to clarify an organization's financial position.

Use the following definitions when completing this form. Unaudited figures are acceptable.

Income

Earned: Revenues that are received through the sale of goods, services performed, or from investments. Examples: ticket sales, subscription revenue, contractual fees, interest income.

Contributed: Gifts that are received which are available to support operations. Examples: annual fund donations, grants for general operating or project support, in-kind contributions.

Expenses

Artistic Salaries: Costs that are directly related to the creation, production, and presentation of art work. Examples: fees for dancers, choreographers, actors, curators, artistic directors, contributors to literary publications. Include arts personnel that are on your staff as well as those that are paid on a contract or fee basis.

Production/exhibition/service expenses: All program or service delivery costs, excluding artistic salaries and fees that are listed above. Examples: presentation costs; costs of sets, costumes, and lighting; publication costs of catalogues or literary magazines.

Administrative expenses: All other costs that are incurred during the normal course of business. Examples: outside professional non-artistic services, space rental, travel, marketing, administrative salaries, utilities, insurance, postage.

NOTE: The figures are subject to verification by the Arts Endowment.

Part 2. Project Information

NEA Office/Discipline: Choose the one discipline that is most relevant to your project. This selection will aid the Arts Endowment's application review. If you have questions, contact the Challenge America staff.

  • Artist Communities
  • Dance (including dance presentation)
  • Design (including architecture, communications and graphic design, fashion design, historic preservation, industrial and product design, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, universal design, rural design, and urban design)
  • Folk & Traditional Arts (including folk & traditional arts projects in any art form)
  • Literature
  • Local Arts Agencies (including projects in any discipline that are submitted by a local arts agency or LAA. Local arts agencies generally are referred to as arts councils, departments of cultural affairs, or arts commissions. LAAs can be private entities or public municipal, county, or regional agencies that operate in cooperation with mayors and city managers. Local arts agencies generally make grant awards directly to both artists and arts organizations, present programming to the public, manage cultural facilities, provide services to artists and arts organizations, and facilitate community cultural planning. Statewide assemblies and cultural service organizations that work specifically with local arts agencies also are eligible, but only for projects that will predominantly serve local arts agencies.)
  • Media Arts
  • Museums (including projects in any discipline that are submitted by a museum)
  • Music (including music presentation)
  • Opera (including opera presentation)
  • Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works (projects that involve multiple arts disciplines including multidisciplinary arts presenting and other types of multidisciplinary activities)
  • Theater & Musical Theater (including theater and musical theater presentation)
  • Visual Arts

Choose your field/discipline carefully. In limited cases, Arts Endowment staff may transfer an application to a field/discipline other than the one that was selected by the applicant to ensure appropriate panel review.

Intended project outcome: If you choose the guest artist, public art, or unified promotion project types, select “Engagement: Public engagement with diverse and excellent art” as your outcome. If you choose the design activities project type, select “Livability: The strengthening of communities through the arts” as your outcome.

Part 3: Project Budget:

NOTE: Organizations may not receive more than one Arts Endowment grant for the same expenses. This budget cannot include project costs that are supported by any other federal funds or their match.

Your Project Budget should reflect only those costs that will be incurred during the "Period of Support" that you have indicated for your project. Any costs incurred before or after those dates will be removed. Round all numbers to the nearest $100.

Combine like costs if necessary to make rounding more realistic. Applicants whose grants are recommended for less than the amount that is requested may be asked to revise the project budget.

INCOME

  1. AMOUNT REQUESTED FROM THE ARTS ENDOWMENT: For Challenge America Fast-Track, all grants are for $10,000.

  2. TOTAL MATCH FOR THIS PROJECT: The Arts Endowment requires each applicant to obtain at least half the total cost of each project from nonfederal sources. For example, if you receive a $10,000 grant, your total project costs must be at least $20,000 and you must provide at least $10,000 toward the project from nonfederal sources. Matches of more than dollar for dollar are encouraged. These matching funds may be all cash or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions as detailed below. Be as specific as possible. For projects that include additional partners, indicate on the form the portion of the match that is being contributed by each participant. Asterisk (*) those funds that are committed or secured.

    Cash match refers to the cash donations (including items or services that are provided by the applicant organization), grants, and revenues that are expected or received for this project. Do not include any Arts Endowment or other federal grants that are anticipated or received. Identify sources. The Arts Endowment allows the use of unrecovered indirect costs as part of the cash match or cost sharing. Your organization must have a federal negotiated indirect cost rate agreement to include unrecovered indirect costs.

    In-kind: Donated space, supplies, volunteer services are goods and services that are donated by individuals or organizations other than the applicant (third-party). To qualify as matching resources, these same items also must be listed in the project budget as direct costs. The dollar value of these non-cash donations should be calculated at their verifiable fair-market value. Identify sources. Reminder: Proper documentation must be maintained for all items noted as "in-kind."

  3. TOTAL PROJECT INCOME is the total of "1. Amount requested from the Arts Endowment" and "2. Total match for this project."

EXPENSES

DIRECT COSTS are those that are identified specifically with the project. Be as specific as possible (e.g., show costs that relate to festival programming if your project is for a festival). For projects that include additional partners, indicate on the form the portion attributed to each participant.

  1. DIRECT COSTS: Salaries and wages cover compensation for personnel, administrative and artistic, who are paid on a salary basis. (Funds for contractual personnel and compensation for artists who are paid on a fee basis should be included in "3. Other expenses" on Page 2 of the Project Budget form, and not here.) Indicate the title and/or type of personnel, the number of personnel, the annual or average salary range, and the percentage of time that will be devoted to the project annually. List key staff positions, and combine similar functions. Where appropriate, use ranges. If the costs for evaluation and assessment are part of staff salary and/or time, separately identify those costs.

    Example:

    Title and/or type of personnel

    Number of personnel

    Annual or average salary range

    % of time devoted to this project

    Amount

     

     

     

     

     

    Executive Director (most of project)

    1

    $40,000 per yr.

    7%

    $2,800

    Executive Director (evaluation only)

    1

    $40,000 per yr.

    3%

    $1,200

    Archivists

    3

    $20-25,000 per yr.

    5-40%

    $15,000

    Support Staff

    2

    $15-20,000 per yr.

    20-30%

    $9,000

    Salaries and wages for performers and related or supporting personnel must be estimated at rates no less than the prevailing minimum compensation as required by the Department of Labor Regulations. (See "Legal Requirements" for details.) Salaries and wages that are incurred in connection with fund raising are not allowable project expenses; do not include them in your budget.

    Fringe benefits are those costs other than wages or salary that are attributable to an employee, as in the form of pension, insurance, vacation and sick leave, etc. They may be included here only if they are not included as indirect costs.

  2. DIRECT COSTS: Travel must be estimated according to the applicant's established travel practice, providing that the travel cost is reasonable and does not exceed the cost of air coach accommodations. Include subsistence costs (e.g., hotels, meals) as part of the "Amount" listed for each trip, as appropriate. Foreign travel, if any is intended, must be specified in this section and must conform with government regulations, including those of the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control. If Arts Endowment funds are used for foreign travel, such travel must be booked on a U.S. air-carrier when this service is available.

  3. DIRECT COSTS: Other expenses include consultant and artist fees, contractual services, promotion, acquisition fees, rights, evaluation and assessment fees, access accommodations (e.g., audio description, sign-language interpretation, closed or open captioning, large-print brochures/labeling), telephone, photocopying, postage, supplies and materials, publication, distribution, translation, transportation of items other than personnel, rental of space or equipment, and other project-specific costs. List artist compensation here if artists are paid on a fee basis.

    Television broadcast projects and educational/interpretive videos must be closed or open captioned. Applicants should check with captioning organizations for an estimate.

    If you intend to purchase any equipment that costs $5,000 or more per item and that has an estimated useful life of more than one year, you must identify that item here. Provide a justification for this expenditure either in this section of the Project Budget form or in your Details of the Project narrative.

    Group similar items together on a single line, with only one total cost. List consultant and artist fees or contracts for professional services on consecutive lines; do not scatter them throughout the list. Specify the number of persons and the applicable fee, rate, or amount of each. For other types of line items, provide details of what is included in each item. See the “Administration” example below.

    Example:

    Artists (5 @ $300-500 per week/30 weeks)

    $60,000

    Consultants (2 @ $150 per 1/2 day/1 day per mo./10 mos.)

    $6,000

    Access accommodations (sign-language interpretation and audio description)

    $1,200

    Costumes, props

    $6,500

    Project supplies

    $4,000

    Administration (rent -- $4,500, telephone -- $300, copying -- $200)

    $5,000

    Do not include fund raising, entertainment or hospitality activities, concessions (e.g., food, T-shirts), fines and penalties, bad debt costs, deficit reduction, cash reserves or endowments, lobbying, marketing expenses that are not directly related to the project, audit costs that are not directly related to an A-133 audit, contingencies, miscellaneous, or costs incurred before the beginning of the official period of support.

  4. TOTAL DIRECT COSTS is the total of all direct cost items listed in "1. Salaries and wages" (from Page 1 of the Project Budget form), "2. Travel," and "3. Other expenses."

  5. INDIRECT COSTS are overhead or administrative expenses that are not readily identifiable with a specific project. (The costs of operating and maintaining facilities and equipment, depreciation or use allowances, and administrative salaries and supplies are typical examples of indirect costs.) Indirect costs are prorated or charged to a project through a rate negotiated with the Arts Endowment or another federal agency. NOTE: Colleges and universities may not apply a "research" indirect cost rate to Arts Endowment grants. If you do not have or intend to negotiate an indirect cost rate, leave this section blank. You may claim administrative costs or overhead as direct costs under "3. Other expenses." If you have a negotiated rate and would like to include indirect costs, complete the information requested in this section. For additional information, see "Indirect Cost Guide for NEA Grantees."

  6. TOTAL PROJECT COSTS is the total of "4. Total direct costs," and, if applicable, "5. Indirect costs." NOTE: "3. Total project income" (from Page 1 of the Project Budget form) must equal the "Total project costs." Your project budget should not equal your organization's entire operating budget.

Items to Upload

There are four types of required items:

1. Programmatic activities list

2. Statements of support

3. Special items

4. Work samples

You will access NEA-GO for detailed instructions and to upload your items. You should prepare your items well in advance of the deadline and have them fully ready to upload once NEA-GO becomes available to you.

Preparation

Below are the required items to uploads to NEA-GO. These are a critical part of your application and are considered carefully during application review.

Programmatic Activities List

Submit a representative list of your Programmatic Activities for the past three seasons.

Submit no more than three pages. Excess pages will be removed and not be reviewed.

Submit a selective representative list, in chronological order, of your organization's programming or activities for the following years: 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use programming for 2011, 2012, and 2013.

This list should demonstrate eligibility (i.e., your organization's three-year history of programming) and the artistic excellence and merit of your organization. Where available, include arts or cultural programming that has a relationship to the project for which you are requesting support (e.g., show examples of previous festival programming if your project is for a festival). For most applicants, this list should show selected artists/projects/exhibitions/works that your organization has or will have presented/produced/exhibited/performed. Use the bullets below as a guide to possible column headings for your list; adjust them as appropriate for your organization.

  • Year: 2011-12, 2012-13, or 2013-14. For organizations that schedule activities according to a single calendar year, use 2011, 2012, or 2013.
  • The titles of the arts event, program, or project.
  • Key Artist(s)/Personnel. Include the project head and key artists (including guest artists) involved.
  • The location of the activity.
  • Dates of the activity and the number of performances/events/exhibitions.
  • Attendance and, where available, percent of capacity figures.
  • Fees paid to artists/companies. (Use average or aggregate fees where appropriate.)

Example:

A performing arts group might fill out its representative list as follows:

Year

Activity/
Project Head

Key
Artist(s)

Location

Dates/#
of perfs.

Attendance/
% Capacity

Fees

2012-13

Festival A/Festival Director

John Smith, Jane Doe

Civic Theater

Jan 27-31, 2013/
6 perfs.

850/71%

$$

2013-14

Performance B/Director

Richard Jones,
Robert Hall

Civic Theater

April 17-21, 2014/7 perfs.

1,050/88%

$$

Statements of Support

You must submit at least one statement of support that is directly related to the proposed project. Submit a maximum of three one-page statements of support that demonstrate commitment from any combination of key artists, organizations, or communities that you wish to highlight. Statements of support are used by reviewers to assess the level of commitment of project participants and the impact of project activities. Do not provide general statements of support for your organization. Each statement should include the name, affiliation, phone number, and e-mail address of the individual who provided it.

Special Items

Submit a single PDF file that includes any items specified below that are relevant to your particular project.

  • For projects that may be impacted by the National Environmental Policy Act and/or the National Historic Preservation Act (e.g., an arts festival in a park, the commissioning and installation of an outdoor sculpture or mural, or certain types of Livability projects), to this button attach documentation that the project is in compliance. The Arts Endowment may conduct a review of your organization to ensure that it is in compliance. Please see the "Assurance of Compliance" for more information.

Video/audio/digital image/website/document work samples

These work samples should demonstrate the artistic excellence and artistic merit of your project.

Wherever possible, this should be a sample of work by the primary artist(s) for the project. For projects that involve guest artists, you must submit an example of work by the proposed artist(s). For projects that focus on unified promotion, the work sample should reflect the work of the individual(s) responsible for the development/design or the quality of the resources, as appropriate.

  • For performing arts projects, audio or video samples.
  • For media projects, audio or video samples.
  • For design/museum/visual arts projects, up to 15 digital images.
  • For literary projects, up to 15 pages.
  • For multidisciplinary projects, submit samples in at least two art forms.

Acceptable Formats

You will be able to upload items in the formats described below. There is a limit of 250 MB for all of your items combined.

We will accept the following types of items:

Documents (Programmatic Activities List, Statements of Support, Special Items, Literary Samples, Publications, Periodicals, Catalogues, Architectural Schematics, Marketing Materials)

Each file has a size limit of 5 MB and 12 pages, and must be submitted as a PDF file. Leave a margin of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Use only 8.5 x 11 inch size pages. Do not reduce type below 12 point font size. Within each PDF, number pages sequentially; place numbers on the bottom right hand corner of each page. Excess pages will be removed and not be reviewed.

If you have to scan material, please follow the guidance below:

  • Scan images at a resolution of 300 dpi. Resolutions over 300 dpi will result in unnecessarily large files.
  • Experiment with the JPEG quality settings. Saving the document as a "medium quality" or "low quality" JPEG will reduce the file size, and is not likely to reduce readability.
  • When you have scanned the images, combine them into a single PDF file. Submit a single file for each document; do not submit a separate file for each scanned page.

Audio Samples

Submit no more than five selections; each selection should not exceed three minutes. You will upload each selection in a separate file. Each file has a size limit of 5 MB. Acceptable file types are mp3, wma, wav, aac, mid, midi, mpa, and ra.

Digital images

Submit up to 15 images. You may either combine all of your images into a single PDF file or upload each image in a separate file. Image size should be consistent; 1024 x 768 pixels is suggested. Each image/file has a size limit of 5 MB. Acceptable file types are jpeg, gif, bmp, png, and tif.

Video Samples

Submit no more than five selections; each selection should not exceed three minutes.

You may submit a link to a video sample, or upload a video sample directly to NEA-GO.

If you submit a link:

Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, submit no more than five and list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any necessary information on required plug-ins, passwords, or navigation paths. Do not submit links to sites that require work samples to be downloaded (e.g., Dropbox).

If you upload directly to NEA-GO:

Acceptable file types are avi, flv, mov, mp4, mpeg, rm, and wmv. Your video sample must be in one of these acceptable file types. File types such as VIDEO_TS.BUP, VIDEO_TS.IFO, and VIDEO_TS.VOB will not work.

In order to be uploaded, videos must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Resolution: At least 480 x 360
  • Frames per second (fps): At least 12

You can often check the resolution of a video as follows. In Windows environments, find the file on your computer, right click it, and select "Properties."  On a Mac, hold the Control key, and click on the file name. Select "Get Info" and the information should display. Most videos are a standard 29 frames per second.  

While the above requirements are the minimum, submitting your video in the mp4 (H.264) format at 640 x 480 with mp3 audio will allow for efficient uploading while showing your clips to best advantage. There is a file size limit of 250 MB. (Note, however, that there is a limit of 250 MB for all of your work samples combined so choose your video samples carefully.)

If your video doesn't meet the minimum resolution requirements above, there are a number of software programs you can use to convert your video.

If you are submitting more than one video sample, you will upload each individually, in a separate file.

Websites

Do not submit your organization's general website. Only submit a website that is an essential part of the project.

Submit a PDF with a link to the website. If you are including more than one website, submit no more than five and list them all on a single PDF. For each site, list the URLs for pages to be shown; include any necessary information on required plug-ins, passwords, or navigation paths. Do not submit links to sites that require work samples to be downloaded (e.g., Dropbox).

NOTE: If you provide links to works samples -- audio samples, digital images, video samples, or documents – the same limits on work samples uploaded directly to NEA-GO apply to those provided via links:

  • Audio samples: No more than five selections; each selection should not exceed three minutes.
  • Digital images: Up to 15 images.
  • Video samples: No more than five selections; each selection should not exceed three minutes.
  • Documents: Up to 15 pages each

Information About Uploaded Items

For each item that you upload, you will find a descriptive field into which you will enter the following information, as appropriate:

Title box:

This title must not contain an apostrophe (if you use one your item will not upload). Title each item with a unique name.

  • For your programmatic activities list, statements of support, and special items, simply state the type of item.
  • For video/audio/digital image/website/document work samples, state the title of the work or organization represented by the work sample.

Description box:

For your programmatic activities list, statements of support, and special items, simply state the type of item.

For video/audio/digital image/website/document work samples:

  • Company/Artist.
  • Title of work/image/activity (if different from first bullet).
  • Date work created/performed.
  • Brief description including how the work sample relates to proposed project.
  • For images of visual artworks, the medium and dimensions of the work.
  • For audio and video samples, length of the sample.
  • If appropriate, include cueing instructions

Applicants submitting multiple websites or multiple images on a PDF should include the relevant information from above with each website or image in the PDF. The descriptive field for the file should provide a brief overview of the group of images or websites as a whole.